Next up in our #TenWithTom series, we spoke to interior pro, Liv Madeline about renovations and her Tom Raffield designs…
Self-taught renovation and interior enthusiast Liv Madeline, or @renovating_cheznous on Instagram, walks us through her inspiration and experience as she slowly renovates an ex-council flat in London. Featuring our Arame Pendant and Skipper Floor Light, Liv’s flat is full of timeless, classic design ideas. Let’s find out out about the journey so far…
TR: Describe your interior style in three words…
LM: "I would probably say it’s a mix of contemporary, boho and Scandi-rustic. I do enjoy mixing antique pieces here and there while keeping things modern and airy. To be honest I find it very hard to pinpoint my exact style, I enjoy going with the flow."
TR: Did you have a vision in mind at the start of the renovation?
LM: "Yes, but it is nothing to what it looks like now! When we first started the project, I had the idea with everything being white and very minimalistic. As time has gone by and we’ve had time to work on the space our style has changed completely, for the better (we think so anyway), every corner of our flat has a story."
TR: Did you use visual aids to help you get an idea of what you wanted the space to be like– Pinterest / mood boards / magazines?
LM: "I’m sure everyone has created some sort of vision board in their life. Whether it’s on Pinterest, Instagram etc. They are perfect ways to gather all your inspiration together and such handy tools for inspiration. You have doubts until you see someone else do it on Instagram."
TR: What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome in your project?
LM: "With renovation, you are always faced with challenges - big or small. A few months ago, our roof decided to leak a year after purchasing our new bespoke wardrobes! That was something we were not prepared for; we had to try and get someone out quick because we’d already spent so much on the materials and the labour, last thing we wanted was for it to be ruined. Renovating during the peak of the pandemic was also very challenging, as I’m sure a lot can relate. When we got out of the first lock down everyone was using the opportunity to do DIY. Therefore, getting your hands on materials became a serious mission as some productions of certain materials stopped. Plasterboard was gold dust."
TR: Did you carry out the work yourself?
LM: "We’ve been very hands on, more hands on than we ever anticipated. When we initially got the flat it took us a while to get started with the works, as we had to apply for permission on a few things. We interviewed a few project managers then got given quotes which completely set us back. From then we decided we were going to try and do the majority of the works ourselves – such as the demolition, installing our flooring, painting, and tiling. We have learnt so much on the job. Thank God for YouTube!"
TR: Would you change anything about the space retrospectively?
LM: "Not at all, we are completely obsessed with it! I wouldn’t do anything different, or am I being biased?"
TR: What initially drew you to Tom Raffield designs?
LM: "Rob, my partner, came across Tom Raffield on a Grand Designs episode and fell in love with the designs, how it’s made through steam bending and the whole eco concept. It had always been something we’d wanted to get, when the opportunity came, we went for it and haven’t looked back since. They are definitely some of our favourite items."
TR: What is your favourite thing about the Arame Pendant?
LM: "It’s very elegant and delicate in the way it’s been made, the craftsmanship is very inspiring; we love the handmade quality of it and when illuminated the glow it leaves in the room is very mesmerising."
TR: What are you most looking forward to embracing in your home over the Autumn months?
LM: "Finishing the upstairs, putting the fire on, and our kitchen. We’ve left the kitchen last because we really want to splash out on it, so we needed more time to save a bit more money."
TR: What advice would you give to someone just setting out on their renovation journey?
LM: "Interview tradespeople. Our whole flat needed rewiring and re-plastering so we got several quotes from different tradesmen and went with the one reasonable priced and off course, got good vibes from.
It is also important you try to keep as organised as possible, when we got the keys, I had no idea where to start for weeks! What builders to contact? How much it should cost? Are they charging us too much? Who to trust? What helped was creating Excel spreadsheets. Google became my best friend and setting a budget for the month is also a great idea. Remember to still have fun though!"